I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Wymbin community!! There are so many reasons Wymbin is a magical fit for us — I share Australian roots with Wymbin, I taught yoga for over a decade in Canada and Australia and love the Wymbin curriculum, we call Inglewood home, and my daughter, Ullani, is enamoured with her teachers Miss Brenna and Miss Aja. While she’s making crafts, wondering the outdoors, or honing her downward dog with the Wymbin team, I am usually on a work call with laundry going while straightening my hair. Or something like that.
Since 2015, I’ve been working as the CEO of Humainologie, a Calgary nonprofit whose mission is spread empathy, increase inclusion, reduce discrimination. Recently, we’ve partnered with Wymbin on The Period Project, a gender-inclusive initiative led by Humainologie, to deliver period products to Calgarians who need them. (You can join our community effort by dropping off sealed containers of pads, tampons and menstrual cups at Wymbin.)
These days, I am increasingly aware of the challenges faced in preparing kids for an increasingly diverse world. Growing up as a multiracial girl with brown skin in Australia in the 70s and 80s, I experienced racism and gender discrimination. Today, parenting a multiracial girl with brown skin in Canada, I am aware that some things have changed, but some things haven’t.
Our conditioning, our unconscious biases, our failure to truly embrace difference and diversity, can lead to racism, discrimination, injustice, bullying, hate, deterioration of mental health, and even death. The fact that we may be marginalized in some way because of our own identity, doesn’t preclude us from marginalizing others, even those with similar identities. I see how my daughter is already conditioned to like kids who have long hair just at three-years-old, which suggests that conditioning around other physical attributes, such as skin colour, for example, can occur at this early stage of life.
I’ll be popping up in the Wymbin blog from time to time to share some ideas and suggestions on how we can support our kids to grow into open, inclusive beings who are unequivocally at home in our diverse world -- and all of this matters, not just for them, but for everyone.
- Salima Stanley-Bhanji
Salima Stanley-Bhanji, co-founder + CEO of @spreadempathyyc and @humainologie, and one of our local preschool mamas! She also won the Calgary Influential Woman in Business Award for Social Enterprise this year! Salima will be popping up on our blog from time to time to share some ideas and suggestions on how we can support our kids to grow into open, inclusive beings who are unequivocally at home in our diverse world -- and all of this matters, not just for them, but for everyone.
You can connect with Humainologie on Instagram @humainologie or follow Salima @salimastanleyb
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